RE: store passwords securely

From: Thornton, John (
Date: 04/10/02

From: "Thornton, John" <>
To: "'Williams, Larry'" <>, "'Wooi Koay'" <>,
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 11:24:59 -0700

Another issue that needs to be considered is that the web page needs to be
displayed securely (https). If blackberry does not support https, then the
back-end security measures are useless.

-----Original Message-----
From: Williams, Larry []
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 8:37 AM
To: 'Wooi Koay';
Subject: RE: store passwords securely

I have no idea how to design such a beast, but I would put the passwords in
a db server. I would put it behind an auth server. The auth server takes
the password from the web server/script, encrypts it, and sends it to the db
server. The db server first ensures that the auth server is the one making
the request (using rDNS or whatever favorite method you have), then compares
the password sent to the password on file (doing whatever encrypt/decrypt
you desire). The db server sends back either a yes or no to the auth
server, which forwards to the web server/script.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wooi Koay
Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2002 09:46
Subject: store passwords securely


I would like to write a web app that stores a list of passwords securely.
The reason why it has to be a web app is because I want to access the site
using blackberry (rim handheld).

My idea is to decrypt the password list using a public key, and when a
valid user logs in, the password list are decrypted using the user's
private key. If another user accidentally access the password list of
different people, he still can't read the password list because he doesn't
have the matched private key. The problem that I can see is that the
webserver somehow need to have access to the public/private key pair. If
the webserver is compromised, the passwords could potentially be read. Any
thought on that?

TIA, wooi.

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